The Well-Tempered Synthesizer is the second studio album from the American musician and composer Wendy Carlos, originally released under her birth name, Walter Carlos, in November 1969 on Columbia Masterworks Records.
June 3, 2020 Subject:
Imagine being a 7 year old kid, and, having listened to all manner of Mussorgsky, Gustav Holst, Beethoven, Bach, some pop and lots of folksy stuff in the 70's, and coming across this and S.O.B. in your dad's collection. I immediately wanted to know why I had never heard this before. My dad tried to explain to me that "mom thinks it's too weird but I really like it. The sounds are made by electronic machines! If you like this, have at it. Also, here's some weird one called 'The Happy Moog' by Jean-Jacques Perrey and Harry Breuer - you and your sister will like this one - it has all kinds of silly sounds that are pretty cool and funny."
My kid-mind was utterly blown, and The Well-Tempered Synthesizer was then subsequently worn out over the next 5 years, then lost to my utter horror when we moved out of state. I only had a cassette dub of it, and when I wore that out, I made dozens of trips to music stores and libraries trying to find it. I discovered Isao Tomita, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Larry Fast/Synergy, and this new thing called "New Age Music" which was a misnomer for anything electronic and instrumental. I might have made my Dad regret it a little because he bought me over the years a Casio PT-20, MT-800, and ultimately a Yamaha DX7 in 1985. When I got my first job, I bought a new Alesis MidiVerb II and blew my mind running all those dry nasty FM sounds through it and completely warping / changing their tone / textures. I bought myself a Roland D-20 in 1988, and a Roland MPU-401 MIDI interface for my computer. Eventually I picked up a Roland Sound Canvas SCC-1 to replace and augment that MPU-401, and added a U-220 to the mix.
Marriage and kids followed, and everything went on the back burner until recently...I'm so thankful for Unify and the fun it all brings! 🙂 The gear (almost all of which I still have) will eventually find their way into legit home studio one day, I hope.
I know every note and nuance of this recording and it still amazes me. This single record was responsible for my love of almost anything electronic-music-oriented, and I still love classical music to this day. The artists and gear above have taken me on countless musical journeys. They also launched me into my love of prog / fusion / jazz, all the way back around to the beginning the cycle again with the original orchestrated works of many of these composers and more.
The CD re-issues of Carlos' work made me *cry* in the late 90's. I am to this day grateful for W. Carlo's Switched On Bach, and amazing and pioneering work putting Moog and serious electronic music on the map. Maybe one day sooner rather than later I too will own some Moog gear - now THAT would be full circle.
December 24, 2019 Subject:
Very nice quality
This is the 2001 CD remaster.
July 13, 2018 Subject:
I was 18 years old and a friend pulled this album out and put head phones on my head and said, just listen. At that time the Synthesizer was still a novelty. I was never going to be the same. I haven't heard this in 40 years!! I forgot how wonderful it was!! thanks so much for the upload!! Mike.
June 4, 2018 Subject:
Thanks for this timeless work of art!
Needless to say what truly stunning master piece it is!! I was born in 1967 and I must have been 7 or 8 years old when I first listened to this LP .... for many years the sound of it kept resonating in my mind, pity that I didn't know who the musicians were, or at least that was I thought because my only memory of it was the front cover with its characters dress up in period costumes. ..... it was literally a fluke that I came across information about Wendy Carlos that leaded me here. Thank you so much for uploading this timeless jewel!